Bare Acts


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Chapter XII – MEETINGS OF BOARD AND ITS POWERS

Section 173 – Meetings of Board
(1) Every company shall hold the first meeting of the Board of Directors within thirty days of the date of its incorporation and thereafter hold a minimum number of four meetings of its Board of Directors every year in such a manner that not more than one hundred and twenty days shall intervene between two consecutive meetings of the Board:

Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, direct that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply in relation to any class or description of companies or shall apply subject to such exceptions, modifications or conditions as may be specified in the notification.

(2) The participation of directors in a meeting of the Board may be either in person or through video conferencing or other audio visual means, as may be prescribed, which are capable of recording and recognising the participation of the directors and of recording and storing the proceedings of such meetings along with date and time:

Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, specify such matters which shall not be dealt with in a meeting through video conferencing or other audio visual means.

(3) A meeting of the Board shall be called by giving not less than seven days’ notice in writing to every director at his address registered with the company and such notice shall be sent by hand delivery or by post or by electronic means:

Provided that a meeting of the Board may be called at shorter notice to transact urgent business subject to the condition that at least one independent director, if any, shall be present at the meeting:

Provided further that in case of absence of independent directors from such a meeting of the Board, decisions taken at such a meeting shall be circulated to all the directors and shall be final only on ratification thereof by at least one independent director, if any.

(4) Every officer of the company whose duty is to give notice under this section and who fails to do so shall be liable to a penalty of twenty-five thousand rupees.

(5) A One Person Company, small company and dormant company shall be deemed to have complied with the provisions of this section if at least one meeting of the Board of Directors has been conducted in each half of a calendar year and the gap between the two meetings is not less than ninety days:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section and in section 174 shall apply to One Person Company in which there is only one director on its Board of Directors.

Section 174 – Quorum for meetings of Board
(1) The quorum for a meeting of the Board of Directors of a company shall be one-third of its total strength or two directors, whichever is higher, and the participation of the directors by video conferencing or by other audio visual means shall also be counted for the purposes of quorum under this sub-section.

(2) The continuing directors may act notwithstanding any vacancy in the Board; but, if and so long as their number is reduced below the quorum fixed by the Act for a meeting of the Board, the continuing directors or director may act for the purpose of increasing the number of directors to that fixed for the quorum, or of summoning a general meeting of the company and for no other purpose.

(3) Where at any time the number of interested directors exceeds or is equal to two-thirds of the total strength of the Board of Directors, the number of directors who are not interested directors and present at the meeting, being not less than two, shall be the quorum during such time.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this sub-section, “interested director” means a director within the meaning of sub-section (2) of section 184.

(4) Where a meeting of the Board could not be held for want of quorum, then, unless the articles of the company otherwise provide, the meeting shall automatically stand adjourned to the same day at the same time and place in the next week or if that day is a national holiday, till the next succeeding day, which is not a national holiday, at the same time and place.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,–

(i) any fraction of a number shall be rounded off as one;

(ii) “total strength” shall not include directors whose places are vacant.

Section 175 – Passing of resolution by circulation
(1) No resolution shall be deemed to have been duly passed by the Board or by a committee thereof by circulation, unless the resolution has been circulated in draft, together with the necessary papers, if any, to all the directors, or members of the committee, as the case may be, at their addresses registered with the company in India by hand delivery or by post or by courier, or through such electronic means as may be prescribed and has been approved by a majority of the directors or members, who are entitled to vote on the resolution:

Provided that, where not less than one-third of the total number of directors of the company for the time being require that any resolution under circulation must be decided at a meeting, the chairperson shall put the resolution to be decided at a meeting of the Board.

(2) A resolution under sub-section (1) shall be noted at a subsequent meeting of the Board or the committee thereof, as the case may be, and made part of the minutes of such meeting.

Section 176 – Defects in appointment of directors not to invalidate actions taken
No act done by a person as a director shall be deemed to be invalid, notwithstanding that it was subsequently noticed that his appointment was invalid by reason of any defect or disqualification or had terminated by virtue of any provision contained in this Act or in the articles of the company:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be deemed to give validity to any act done by the director after his appointment has been noticed by the company to be invalid or to have terminated.

Section 177 – Audit Committee
(1) The Board of Directors of every listed company and such other class or classes of companies, as may be prescribed, shall constitute an Audit Committee.

(2) The Audit Committee shall consist of a minimum of three directors with independent directors forming a majority:

Provided that majority of members of Audit Committee including its Chairperson shall be persons with ability to read and understand, the financial statement.

(3) Every Audit Committee of a company existing immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, within one year of such commencement, be reconstituted in accordance with sub-section (2).

(4) Every Audit Committee shall act in accordance with the terms of reference specified in writing by the Board which shall, inter alia, include,–

(i) the recommendation for appointment, remuneration and terms of appointment of auditors of the company;

(ii) review and monitor the auditor’s independence and performance, and effectiveness of audit process;

(iii) examination of the financial statement and the auditors’ report thereon;

(iv) approval or any subsequent modification of transactions of the company with related parties;

(v) scrutiny of inter-corporate loans and investments;

(vi) valuation of undertakings or assets of the company, wherever it is necessary;

(vii) evaluation of internal financial controls and risk management systems;

(viii) monitoring the end use of funds raised through public offers and related matters.

(5) The Audit Committee may call for the comments of the auditors about internal control systems, the scope of audit, including the observations of the auditors and review of financial statement before their submission to the Board and may also discuss any related issues with the internal and statutory auditors and the management of the company.

(6) The Audit Committee shall have authority to investigate into any matter in relation to the items specified in sub-section (4) or referred to it by the Board and for this purpose shall have power to obtain professional advice from external sources and have full access to information contained in the records of the company.

(7) The auditors of a company and the key managerial personnel shall have a right to be heard in the meetings of the Audit Committee when it considers the auditor’s report but shall not have the right to vote.

(8) The Board’s report under sub-section (3) of section 134 shall disclose the composition of an Audit Committee and where the Board had not accepted any recommendation of the Audit Committee, the same shall be disclosed in such report along with the reasons therefor.

(9) Every listed company or such class or classes of companies, as may be prescribed, shall establish a vigil mechanism for directors and employees to report genuine concerns in such manner as may be prescribed.

(10) The vigil mechanism under sub-section (9) shall provide for adequate safeguards against victimisation of persons who use such mechanism and make provision for direct access to the chairperson of the Audit Committee in appropriate or exceptional cases:

Provided that the details of establishment of such mechanism shall be disclosed by the company on its website, if any, and in the Board’s report.

Section 178 – Nomination and Remuneration Committee and Stakeholders Relationship Committee
(1) The Board of Directors of every listed company and such other class or classes of companies, as may be prescribed shall constitute the Nomination and Remuneration Committee consisting of three or more non-executive directors out of which not less than one-half shall be independent directors:

Provided that the chairperson of the company (whether executive or non-executive) may be appointed as a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee but shall not chair such Committee.

(2) The Nomination and Remuneration Committee shall identify persons who are qualified to become directors and who may be appointed in senior management in accordance with the criteria laid down, recommend to the Board their appointment and removal and shall carry out evaluation of every director’s performance.

(3) The Nomination and Remuneration Committee shall formulate the criteria for determining qualifications, positive attributes and independence of a director and recommend to the Board a policy, relating to the remuneration for the directors, key managerial personnel and other employees.

(4) The Nomination and Remuneration Committee shall, while formulating the policy under sub-section (3) ensure that–

(a) the level and composition of remuneration is reasonable and sufficient to attract, retain and motivate directors of the quality required to run the company successfully;

(b) relationship of remuneration to performance is clear and meets appropriate performance benchmarks; and

(c) remuneration to directors, key managerial personnel and senior management involves a balance between fixed and incentive pay reflecting short and long-term performance objectives appropriate to the working of the company and its goals:

Provided that such policy shall be disclosed in the Board’s report.

(5) The Board of Directors of a company which consists of more than one thousand shareholders, debenture-holders, deposit-holders and any other security holders at any time during a financial year shall constitute a Stakeholders Relationship Committee consisting of a chairperson who shall be a non-executive director and such other members as may be decided by the Board.

(6) The Stakeholders Relationship Committee shall consider and resolve the grievances of security holders of the company.

(7) The chairperson of each of the committees constituted under this section or, in his absence, any other member of the committee authorised by him in this behalf shall attend the general meetings of the company.

(8) In case of any contravention of the provisions of section 177 and this section, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both:

Provided that non-consideration of resolution of any grievance by the Stakeholders Relationship Committee in good faith shall not constitute a contravention of this section.

Explanation.–The expression ”senior management” means personnel of the company who are members of its core management team excluding Board of Directors comprising all members of management one level below the executive directors, including the functional heads.

Section 179 – Powers of Board
(1) The Board of Directors of a company shall be entitled to exercise all such powers, and to do all such acts and things, as the company is authorised to exercise and do:

Provided that in exercising such power or doing such act or thing, the Board shall be subject to the provisions contained in that behalf in this Act, or in the memorandum or articles, or in any regulations not inconsistent therewith and duly made thereunder, including regulations made by the company in general meeting:

Provided further that the Board shall not exercise any power or do any act or thing which is directed or required, whether under this Act or by the memorandum or articles of the company or otherwise, to be exercised or done by the company in general meeting.

(2) No regulation made by the company in general meeting shall invalidate any prior act of the Board which would have been valid if that regulation had not been made.

(3) The Board of Directors of a company shall exercise the following powers on behalf of the company by means of resolutions passed at meetings of the Board, namely:–

(a) to make calls on shareholders in respect of money unpaid on their shares;

(b) to authorise buy-back of securities under section 68;

(c) to issue securities, including debentures, whether in or outside India;

(d) to borrow monies;

(e) to invest the funds of the company;

(f) to grant loans or give guarantee or provide security in respect of loans;

(g) to approve financial statement and the Board’s report;

(h) to diversify the business of the company;

(i) to approve amalgamation, merger or reconstruction;

(j) to take over a company or acquire a controlling or substantial stake in another company;

(k) any other matter which may be prescribed:

Provided that the Board may, by a resolution passed at a meeting, delegate to any committee of directors, the managing director, the manager or any other principal officer of the company or in the case of a branch office of the company, the principal officer of the branch office, the powers specified in clauses (d) to (f) on such conditions as it may specify:

Provided further that the acceptance by a banking company in the ordinary course of its business of deposits of money from the public repayable on demand or otherwise and withdrawable by cheque, draft, order or otherwise, or the placing of monies on deposit by a banking company with another banking company on such conditions as the Board may prescribe, shall not be deemed to be a borrowing of monies or, as the case may be, a making of loans by a banking company within the meaning of this section.

Explanation I.–Nothing in clause (d) shall apply to borrowings by a banking company from other banking companies or from the Reserve Bank of India, the State Bank of India or any other banks established by or under any Act.

Explanation II.–In respect of dealings between a company and its bankers, the exercise by the company of the power specified in clause (d) shall mean the arrangement made by the company with its bankers for the borrowing of money by way of overdraft or cash credit or otherwise and not the actual day-to-day operation on overdraft, cash credit or other accounts by means of which the arrangement so made is actually availed of.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect the right of the company in general meeting to impose restrictions and conditions on the exercise by the Board of any of the powers specified in this section.

Section 180 – Restrictions on powers of Board
(1) The Board of Directors of a company shall exercise the following powers only with the consent of the company by a special resolution, namely:–

(a) to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the whole or substantially the whole of the undertaking of the company or where the company owns more than one undertaking, of the whole or substantially the whole of any of such undertakings.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this clause,–

(i) “undertaking” shall mean an undertaking in which the investment of the company exceeds twenty per cent. of its net worth as per the audited balance sheet of the preceding financial year or an undertaking which generates twenty per cent. of the total income of the company during the previous financial year;

(ii) the expression “substantially the whole of the undertaking” in any financial year shall mean twenty per cent, or more of the value of the undertaking as per the audited balance sheet of the preceding financial year;

(b) to invest otherwise in trust securities the amount of compensation received by it as a result of any merger or amalgamation;

(c) to borrow money, where the money to be borrowed, together with the money already borrowed by the company will exceed aggregate of its paid-up share capital and free reserves, apart from temporary loans obtained from the company’s bankers in the ordinary course of business:

Provided that the acceptance by a banking company, in the ordinary course of its business, of deposits of money from the public, repayable on demand or otherwise, and withdrawable by cheque, draft, order or otherwise, shall not be deemed to be a borrowing of monies by the banking company within the meaning of this clause.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this clause, the expression “temporary loans” means loans repayable on demand or within six months from the date of the loan such as short-term, cash credit arrangements, the discounting of bills and the issue of other short-term loans of a seasonal character, but does not include loans raised for the purpose of financial expenditure of a capital nature;

(d) to remit, or give time for the repayment of, any debt due from a director.

(2) Every special resolution passed by the company in general meeting in relation to the exercise of the powers referred to in clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall specify the total amount up to which monies may be borrowed by the Board of Directors.

(3) Nothing contained in clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall affect–

(a) the title of a buyer or other person who buys or takes on lease any property, investment or undertaking as is referred to in that clause, in good faith; or

(b) the sale or lease of any property of the company where the ordinary business of the company consists of, or comprises, such selling or leasing.

(4) Any special resolution passed by the company consenting to the transaction as is referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) may stipulate such conditions as may be specified in such resolution, including conditions regarding the use, disposal or investment of the sale proceeds which may result from the transactions:

Provided that this sub-section shall not be deemed to authorise the company to effect any reduction in its capital except in accordance with the provisions contained in this Act.

(5) No debt incurred by the company in excess of the limit imposed by clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be valid or effectual, unless the lender proves that he advanced the loan in good faith and without knowledge that the limit imposed by that clause had been exceeded.

Section 181 – Company to contribute to bona fide and charitable funds, etc.
The Board of Directors of a company may contribute to bona fide charitable and other funds:

Provided that prior permission of the company in general meeting shall be required for such contribution in case any amount the aggregate of which, in any financial year, exceed five per cent. of its average net profits for the three immediately preceding financial years.

Section 182 – Prohibitions and restrictions regarding political contributions
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act, a company, other than a Government company and a company which has been in existence for less than three financial years, may contribute any amount directly or indirectly to any political party:

Provided that the amount referred to in sub-section (1) or, as the case may be, the aggregate of the amount which may be so contributed by the company in any financial year shall not exceed seven and a half per cent. of its average net profits during the three immediately preceding financial years:

Provided further that no such contribution shall be made by a company unless a resolution authorising the making of such contribution is passed at a meeting of the Board of Directors and such resolution shall, subject to the other provisions of this section, be deemed to be justification in law for the making and the acceptance of the contribution authorised by it.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1),–

(a) a donation or subscription or payment caused to be given by a company on its behalf or on its account to a person who, to its knowledge, is carrying on any activity which, at the time at which such donation or subscription or payment was given or made, can reasonably be regarded as likely to affect public support for a political party shall also be deemed to be contribution of the amount of such donation, subscription or payment to such person for a political purpose;

(b) the amount of expenditure incurred, directly or indirectly, by a company on an advertisement in any publication, being a publication in the nature of a souvenir, brochure, tract, pamphlet or the like, shall also be deemed,–

(i) where such publication is by or on behalf of a political party, to be a contribution of such amount to such political party, and

(ii) where such publication is not by or on behalf of, but for the advantage of a political party, to be a contribution for a political purpose.

(3) Every company shall disclose in its profit and loss account any amount or amounts contributed by it to any political party during the financial year to which that account relates, giving particulars of the total amount contributed and the name of the party to which such amount has been contributed.

(4) If a company makes any contribution in contravention of the provisions of this section, the company shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five times the amount so contributed and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and with fine which may extend to five times the amount so contributed.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section, “political party” means a political party registered under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951).

Section 183 – Power of Board and other persons to make contributions to national defence fund, etc.
(1) The Board of Directors of any company or any person or authority exercising the powers of the Board of Directors of a company, or of the company in general meeting, may, notwithstanding anything contained in sections 180, 181 and section 182 or any other provision of this Act or in the memorandum, articles or any other instrument relating to the company, contribute such amount as it thinks fit to the National Defence Fund or any other Fund approved by the Central Government for the purpose of national defence.

(2) Every company shall disclose in its profits and loss account the total amount or amounts contributed by it to the Fund referred to in sub-section (1) during the financial year to which the amount relates.

Section 184 – Disclosure of interest by director
(1) Every director shall at the first meeting of the Board in which he participates as a director and thereafter at the first meeting of the Board in every financial year or whenever there is any change in the disclosures already made, then at the first Board meeting held after such change, disclose his concern or interest in any company or companies or bodies corporate, firms, or other association of individuals which shall include the shareholding, in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) Every director of a company who is in any way, whether directly or indirectly, concerned or interested in a contract or arrangement or proposed contract or arrangement entered into or to be entered into–

(a) with a body corporate in which such director or such director in association with any other director, holds more than two per cent. shareholding of that body corporate, or is a promoter, manager, Chief Executive Officer of that body corporate; or

(b) with a firm or other entity in which, such director is a partner, owner or member, as the case may be, shall disclose the nature of his concern or interest at the meeting of the Board in which the contract or arrangement is discussed and shall not participate in such meeting:

Provided that where any director who is not so concerned or interested at the time of entering into such contract or arrangement, he shall, if he becomes concerned or interested after the contract or arrangement is entered into, disclose his concern or interest forthwith when he becomes concerned or interested or at the first meeting of the Board held after he becomes so concerned or interested.

(3) A contract or arrangement entered into by the company without disclosure under sub-section (2) or with participation by a director who is concerned or interested in any way, directly or indirectly, in the contract or arrangement, shall be voidable at the option of the company.

(4) If a director of the company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or subsection (2), such director shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

(5) Nothing in this section–

(a) shall be taken to prejudice the operation of any rule of law restricting a director of a company from having any concern or interest in any contract or arrangement with the company;

(b) shall apply to any contract or arrangement entered into or to be entered into between two companies where any of the directors of the one company or two or more of them together holds or hold not more than two per cent. of the paid-up share capital in the other company.

Section 185 – Loan to directors, etc.
(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, no company shall, directly or indirectly, advance any loan, including any loan represented by a book debt, to any of its directors or to any other person in whom the director is interested or give any guarantee or provide any security in connection with any loan taken by him or such other person:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to–

(a) the giving of any loan to a managing or whole-time director–

(i) as a part of the conditions of service extended by the company to all its employees; or

(ii) pursuant to any scheme approved by the members by a special resolution; or

(b) a company which in the ordinary course of its business provides loans or gives guarantees or securities for the due repayment of any loan and in respect of such loans an interest is charged at a rate not less than the bank rate declared by the Reserve Bank of India.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section, the expression “to any other person in whom director is interested” means–

(a) any director of the lending company, or of a company which is its holding company or any partner or relative of any such director;

(b) any firm in which any such director or relative is a partner;

(c) any private company of which any such director is a director or member;

(d) any body corporate at a general meeting of which not less than twenty-five per cent. of the total voting power may be exercised or controlled by any such director, or by two or more such directors, together; or

(e) any body corporate, the Board of directors, managing director or manager, whereof is accustomed to act in accordance with the directions or instructions of the Board, or of any director or directors, of the lending company.

(2) If any loan is advanced or a guarantee or security is given or provided in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1), the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than five lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees, and the director or the other person to whom any loan is advanced or guarantee or security is given or provided in connection with any loan taken by him or the other person, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which shall not be less than five lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 186 – Loan and investment by company
(1) Without prejudice to the provisions contained in this Act, a company shall unless otherwise prescribed, make investment through not more than two layers of investment companies:

Provided that the provisions of this sub-section shall not affect,–

(i) a company from acquiring any other company incorporated in a country outside India if such other company has investment subsidiaries beyond two layers as per the laws of such country;

(ii) a subsidiary company from having any investment subsidiary for the purposes of meeting the requirements under any law or under any rule or regulation framed under any law for the time being in force.

(2) No company shall directly or indirectly —

(a) give any loan to any person or other body corporate;

(b) give any guarantee or provide security in connection with a loan to any other body corporate or person; and

(c) acquire by way of subscription, purchase or otherwise, the securities of any other body corporate, exceeding sixty per cent. of its paid-up share capital, free reserves and securities premium account or one hundred per cent. of its free reserves and securities premium account, whichever is more.

(3) Where the giving of any loan or guarantee or providing any security or the acquisition under sub-section (2) exceeds the limits specified in that sub-section, prior approval by means of a special resolution passed at a general meeting shall be necessary.

(4) The company shall disclose to the members in the financial statement the full particulars of the loans given, investment made or guarantee given or security provided and the purpose for which the loan or guarantee or security is proposed to be utilised by the recipient of the loan or guarantee or security.

(5) No investment shall be made or loan or guarantee or security given by the company unless the resolution sanctioning it is passed at a meeting of the Board with the consent of all the directors present at the meeting and the prior approval of the public financial institution concerned where any term loan is subsisting, is obtained:

Provided that prior approval of a public financial institution shall not be required where the aggregate of the loans and investments so far made, the amount for which guarantee or security so far provided to or in all other bodies corporate, along with the investments, loans, guarantee or security proposed to be made or given does not exceed the limit as specified in sub-section (2), and there is no default in repayment of loan instalments or payment of interest thereon as per the terms and conditions of such loan to the public financial institution.

(6) No company, which is registered under section 12 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992) and covered under such class or classes of companies as may be prescribed, shall take inter-corporate loan or deposits exceeding the prescribed limit and such company shall furnish in its financial statement the details of the loan or deposits.

(7) No loan shall be given under this section at a rate of interest lower than the prevailing yield of one year, three year, five year or ten year Government Security closest to the tenor of the loan.

(8) No company which is in default in the repayment of any deposits accepted before or after the commencement of this Act or in payment of interest thereon, shall give any loan or give any guarantee or provide any security or make an acquisition till such default is subsisting.

(9) Every company giving loan or giving a guarantee or providing security or making an acquisition under this section shall keep a register which shall contain such particulars and shall be maintained in such manner as may be prescribed.

(10) The register referred to in sub-section (9) shall be kept at the registered office of the company and —

(a) shall be open to inspection at such office; and

(b) extracts may be taken therefrom by any member, and copies thereof may be furnished to any member of the company on payment of such fees as may be prescribed.

(11) Nothing contained in this section, except sub-section (1), shall apply–

(a) to a loan made, guarantee given or security provided by a banking company or an insurance company or a housing finance company in the ordinary course of its business or a company engaged in the business of financing of companies or of providing infrastructural facilities;

(b) to any acquisition–

(i) made by a non-banking financial company registered under Chapter IIIB of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934) and whose principal business is acquisition of securities:

Provided that exemption to non-banking financial company shall be in respect of its investment and lending activities;

(ii) made by a company whose principal business is the acquisition of securities;

(iii) of shares allotted in pursuance of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 62.

(12) The Central Government may make rules for the purposes of this section.

(13) If a company contravenes the provisions of this section, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,–

(a) the expression “investment company” means a company whose principal business is the acquisition of shares, debentures or other securities;

(b) the expression “infrastructure facilities” means the facilities specified in Schedule VI.

Section 187 – Investments of company to be held in its own name
(1) All investments made or held by a company in any property, security or other asset shall be made and held by it in its own name:

Provided that the company may hold any shares in its subsidiary company in the name of any nominee or nominees of the company, if it is necessary to do so, to ensure that the number of members of the subsidiary company is not reduced below the statutory limit.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent a company–

(a) from depositing with a bank, being the bankers of the company, any shares or securities for the collection of any dividend or interest payable thereon; or

(b) from depositing with, or transferring to, or holding in the name of, the State Bank of India or a scheduled bank, being the bankers of the company, shares or securities, in order to facilitate the transfer thereof:

Provided that if within a period of six months from the date on which the shares or securities are transferred by the company to, or are first held by the company in the name of, the State Bank of India or a scheduled bank as aforesaid, no transfer of such shares or securities takes place, the company shall, as soon as practicable after the expiry of that period, have the shares or securities re-transferred to it from the State Bank of India or the scheduled bank or, as the case may be, again hold the shares or securities in its own name; or

(c) from depositing with, or transferring to, any person any shares or securities, by way of security for the repayment of any loan advanced to the company or the performance of any obligation undertaken by it;

(d) from holding investments in the name of a depository when such investments are in the form of securities held by the company as a beneficial owner.

(3) Where in pursuance of clause (d) of sub-section (2), any shares or securities in which investments have been made by a company are not held by it in its own name, the company shall maintain a register which shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed and such register shall be open to inspection by any member or debenture-holder of the company without any charge during business hours subject to such reasonable restrictions as the company may by its articles or in general meeting impose.

(4) If a company contravenes the provisions of this section, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 188 – Related party transactions
(1) Except with the consent of the Board of Directors given by a resolution at a meeting of the Board and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, no company shall enter into any contract or arrangement with a related party with respect to–

(a) sale, purchase or supply of any goods or materials;

(b) selling or otherwise disposing of, or buying, property of any kind;

(c) leasing of property of any kind;

(d) availing or rendering of any services;

(e) appointment of any agent for purchase or sale of goods, materials, services or property;

(f) such related party’s appointment to any office or place of profit in the company, its subsidiary company or associate company; and

(g) underwriting the subscription of any securities or derivatives thereof, of the company:

Provided that no contract or arrangement, in the case of a company having a paid-up share capital of not less than such amount, or transactions not exceeding such sums, as may be prescribed, shall be entered into except with the prior approval of the company by a special resolution:

Provided further that no member of the company shall vote on such special resolution, to approve any contract or arrangement which may be entered into by the company, if such member is a related party:

Provided also that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any transactions entered into by the company in its ordinary course of business other than transactions which are not on an arm’s length basis.

Explanation.–In this sub-section,–

(a) the expression “office or place of profit” means any office or place–

(i) where such office or place is held by a director, if the director holding it receives from the company anything by way of remuneration over and above the remuneration to which he is entitled as director, by way of salary, fee, commission, perquisites, any rent-free accommodation, or otherwise;

(ii) where such office or place is held by an individual other than a director or by any firm, private company or other body corporate, if the individual, firm, private company or body corporate holding it receives from the company anything by way of remuneration, salary, fee, commission, perquisites, any rent-free accommodation, or otherwise;

(b) the expression “arm’s length transaction” means a transaction between two related parties that is conducted as if they were unrelated, so that there is no conflict of interest.

(2) Every contract or arrangement entered into under sub-section (1) shall be referred to in the Board’s report to the shareholders along with the justification for entering into such contract or arrangement.

(3) Where any contract or arrangement is entered into by a director or any other employee, without obtaining the consent of the Board or approval by a special resolution in the general meeting under sub-section (1) and if it is not ratified by the Board or, as the case may be, by the shareholders at a meeting within three months from the date on which such contract or arrangement was entered into, such contract or arrangement shall be voidable at the option of the Board and if the contract or arrangement is with a related party to any director, or is authorised by any other director, the directors concerned shall indemnify the company against any loss incurred by it.

(4) Without prejudice to anything contained in sub-section (3), it shall be open to the company to proceed against a director or any other employee who had entered into such contract or arrangement in contravention of the provisions of this section for recovery of any loss sustained by it as a result of such contract or arrangement.

(5) Any director or any other employee of a company, who had entered into or authorised the contract or arrangement in violation of the provisions of this section shall,–

(i) in case of listed company, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both; and

(ii) in case of any other company, be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Section 189 – Register of contracts or arrangements in which directors are interested
(1) Every company shall keep one or more registers giving separately the particulars of all contracts or arrangements to which sub-section (2) of section 184 or section 188 applies, in such manner and containing such particulars as may be prescribed and after entering the particulars, such register or registers shall be placed before the next meeting of the Board and signed by all the directors present at the meeting.

(2) Every director or key managerial personnel shall, within a period of thirty days of his appointment, or relinquishment of his office, as the case may be, disclose to the company the particulars specified in sub-section (1) of section 184 relating to his concern or interest in the other associations which are required to be included in the register under that sub-section or such other information relating to himself as may be prescribed.

(3) The register referred to in sub-section (1) shall be kept at the registered office of the company and it shall be open for inspection at such office during business hours and extracts may be taken therefrom, and copies thereof as may be required by any member of the company shall be furnished by the company to such extent, in such manner, and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed.

(4) The register to be kept under this section shall also be produced at the commencement of every annual general meeting of the company and shall remain open and accessible during the continuance of the meeting to any person having the right to attend the meeting.

(5) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to any contract or arrangement–

(a) for the sale, purchase or supply of any goods, materials or services if the value of such goods and materials or the cost of such services does not exceed five lakh rupees in the aggregate in any year; or

(b) by a banking company for the collection of bills in the ordinary course of its business.

(6) Every director who fails to comply with the provisions of this section and the rules made thereunder shall be liable to a penalty of twenty-five thousand rupees.

Section 190 – Contract of employment with managing or whole
(1) Every company shall keep at its registered office,–

(a) where a contract of service with a managing or whole-time director is in writing, a copy of the contract; or

(b) where such a contract is not in writing, a written memorandum setting out its terms.

(2) The copies of the contract or the memorandum kept under sub-section (1) shall be open to inspection by any member of the company without payment of fee.

(3) If any default is made in complying with the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the company shall be liable to a penalty of twenty-five thousand rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be liable to a penalty of five thousand rupees for each default.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a private company.

Section 191 – Payment to director for loss of office, etc., in connection with transfer of undertaking, property or shares
(1) No director of a company shall, in connection with–

(a) the transfer of the whole or any part of any undertaking or property of the company; or

(b) the transfer to any person of all or any of the shares in a company being a transfer resulting from–

(i) an offer made to the general body of shareholders;

(ii) an offer made by or on behalf of some other body corporate with a view to a company becoming a subsidiary company of such body corporate or a subsidiary company of its holding company;

(iii) an offer made by or on behalf of an individual with a view to his obtaining the right to exercise, or control the exercise of, not less than one-third of the total voting power at any general meeting of the company; or

(iv) any other offer which is conditional on acceptance to a given extent, receive any payment by way of compensation for loss of office or as consideration for retirement from office, or in connection with such loss or retirement from such company or from the transferee of such undertaking or property, or from the transferees of shares or from any other person, not being such company, unless particulars as may be prescribed with respect to the payment proposed to be made by such transferee or person, including the amount thereof, have been disclosed to the members of the company and the proposal has been approved by the company in general meeting.

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall affect any payment made by a company to a managing director or whole-time director or manager of the company by way of compensation for loss of office or as consideration for retirement from office or in connection with such loss or retirement subject to limits or priorities, as may be prescribed.

(3) If the payment under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) is not approved for want of quorum either in a meeting or an adjourned meeting, the proposal shall not be deemed to have been approved.

(4) Where a director of a company receives payment of any amount in contravention of sub-section (1) or the proposed payment is made before it is approved in the meeting, the amount so received by the director shall be deemed to have been received by him in trust for the company.

(5) If a director of the company contravenes the provisions of this section, such director shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be taken to prejudice the operation of any law requiring disclosure to be made with respect to any payment received under this section or such other like payments made to a director.

Section 192 – Restriction on non
(1) No company shall enter into an arrangement by which–

(a) a director of the company or its holding, subsidiary or associate company or a person connected with him acquires or is to acquire assets for consideration other than cash, from the company; or

(b) the company acquires or is to acquire assets for consideration other than cash, from such director or person so connected, unless prior approval for such arrangement is accorded by a resolution of the company in general meeting and if the director or connected person is a director of its holding company, approval under this sub-section shall also be required to be obtained by passing a resolution in general meeting of the holding company.

(2) The notice for approval of the resolution by the company or holding company in general meeting under sub-section (1) shall include the particulars of the arrangement along with the value of the assets involved in such arrangement duly calculated by a registered valuer.

(3) Any arrangement entered into by a company or its holding company in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be voidable at the instance of the company unless–

(a) the restitution of any money or other consideration which is the subject-matter of the arrangement is no longer possible and the company has been indemnified by any other person for any loss or damage caused to it; or

(b) any rights are acquired bona fide for value and without notice of the contravention of the provisions of this section by any other person.

Section 193 – Contract by One Person Company
(1) Where One Person Company limited by shares or by guarantee enters into a contract with the sole member of the company who is also the director of the company, the company shall, unless the contract is in writing, ensure that the terms of the contract or offer are contained in a memorandum or are recorded in the minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the company held next after entering into contract:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to contracts entered into by the company in the ordinary course of its business.

(2) The company shall inform the Registrar about every contract entered into by the company and recorded in the minutes of the meeting of its Board of Directors under sub-section (1) within a period of fifteen days of the date of approval by the Board of Directors.

Section 194 – Prohibition on forward dealings in securities of company by director or key managerial personnel
(1) No director of a company or any of its key managerial personnel shall buy in the company, or in its holding, subsidiary or associate company–

(a) a right to call for delivery or a right to make delivery at a specified price and within a specified time, of a specified number of relevant shares or a specified amount of relevant debentures; or

(b) a right, as he may elect, to call for delivery or to make delivery at a specified price and within a specified time, of a specified number of relevant shares or a specified amount of relevant debentures.

(2) If a director or any key managerial personnel of the company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), such director or key managerial personnel shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

(3) Where a director or other key managerial personnel acquires any securities in contravention of sub-section (1), he shall, subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (2), be liable to surrender the same to the company and the company shall not register the securities so acquired in his name in the register, and if they are in dematerialised form, it shall inform the depository not to record such acquisition and such securities, in both the cases, shall continue to remain in the names of the transferors.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section, ”relevant shares” and ”relevant debentures” mean shares and debentures of the company in which the concerned person is a whole-time director or other key managerial personnel or shares and debentures of its holding and subsidiary companies.

Section 195 – Prohibition on insider trading of securities
(1) No person including any director or key managerial personnel of a company shall enter into insider trading:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to any communication required in the ordinary course of business or profession or employment or under any law.

Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,–

(a) “insider trading” means–

(i) an act of subscribing, buying, selling, dealing or agreeing to subscribe, buy, sell or deal in any securities by any director or key managerial personnel or any other officer of a company either as principal or agent if such director or key managerial personnel or any other officer of the company is reasonably expected to have access to any non-public price sensitive information in respect of securities of company; or

(ii) an act of counselling about procuring or communicating directly or indirectly any non-public price-sensitive information to any person;

(b) “price-sensitive information” means any information which relates, directly or indirectly, to a company and which if published is likely to materially affect the price of securities of the company.

(2) If any person contravenes the provisions of this section, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which shall not be less than five lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees or three times the amount of profits made out of insider trading, whichever is higher, or with both.

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